You can’t watch the Super Bowl without eating.
Especially if you’re having friends over to watch the game, you need a big spread of food. The action on the field is only part of the appeal of Super Bowl Sunday, which has become essentially a national holiday.
So don’t disappoint your Super Bowl party guests by offering lame food – or, worse, no food at all.
I’ve watched at least part of every Super Bowl – dating back to the first one between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs following the 1966 season. So I qualify as an expert on all things about the big game.
Here’s some advice. Prepare finger food for your Super Bowl party. No one wants to mess with utensils when they’re trying to watch the game. You want food that’s simple to prepare and simple to eat.
Here are the top 10 Super Bowl party foods.
They’re great because they can be simple with only melted cheese or elaborate with chicken, beef, salsa, jalapenos and guacamole. Who doesn’t love nachos?
2. Chips and dip
Also easy and a crowd-pleaser. Be sure to get big, substantial chips that won’t break when they’re dipped. Get some hefty potato and corn chips and several types of dip. You can’t go wrong.
3. Chicken wings
Frankly, I’m not a big fan of chicken wings. To me, they have too little meat. You’ve got to eat several handfuls to get full. Still, I know a lot of people love chicken wings, so they make the list. Remember to get several flavors.
4. Fried chicken
OK, I’ll admit this is an old-school food choice. But give me a big bucket of fried chicken over a box of chicken wings any day. A meaty breast or thigh trumps a tiny chicken wing. For fried chicken, KFC is still the best. Go with a big red-and-white bucket from the Colonel.
Now this is a manly selection. There’s something primal about grabbing a big bone with meat on it and chomping away. Ribs are often overlooked at Super Bowl parties. Don’t make that mistake.
They’re easy to prepare. You can fix them on the grill, but they’re better slow-cooked in a smoker. Sprinkle on some spices and lather on barbecue sauce, and you’re good to go.
A simple, classic choice. Stay away from microwave popcorn. It tastes too processed. The stuff can’t match old-style popcorn prepared in a pot on the stovetop. You can hear the kernels popping and smell the delectable aroma. Add lots of butter and salt. We’ll count calories and fat another day.
7. Caramel-and-nut popcorn clusters
Here’s a great variation on traditional popcorn. You can’t make this stuff yourself. So you get a pass to buy boxes of it at the grocery store. One brand is Fiddle Faddle. I could eat this stuff until my stomach swells up and pops.
8. Barbecue potato chips
Here’s another good, store-bought choice. For Super Bowl Sunday, stick with barbecue flavor. It’s the best by far. Eat sour cream or salt-and-vinegar some other time.
9. Chocolate chip cookies
You need sweets to top off the meat and snacks, and nothing can compare to chocolate chip cookies. The best, of course, are those made fresh in the oven. They’re hot and gooey – practically sinful. But if you don’t want to cook, you’ll find many good varieties at the grocery.
10. Bite-sized candy bars
Think back to Halloween. Remember those tiny Snickers and Milky Way bars you gave to trick-or-treaters? They’re great for Super Bowl Sunday. Pour a couple of bags into a big bowl, and you’re set.
Get several varieties. People might feel guilty eating full-sized candy bars, but these little ones hardly qualify as indulgent.
Prepare your Super Bowl food now
I’ve given you plenty of suggestions. Now execute your Super Bowl food plan. Don’t wait until the morning before the game to assemble the food. Start now. Buy some food, but prepare some yourself too.
You want your food to be a big hit. If you succeed, your guests will remember the food as much as the game.